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David Rotenstein

David Rotenstein is a historian and writer based in Pittsburgh. He is writing a book on the history of numbers gambling in Pittsburgh.

Twitter: @iVernacular and @MobsBurgh

You can find generations of Pittsburgh black history at The Crystal Barber

By David Rotenstein / August 26, 2021

The Crystal Barbershop might have been Pittsburgh’s best-known tonsorium. Its owner, William “Woogie” Harris, was a legendary gambling baron and one of the city’s wealthiest Black entrepreneurs. Harold Slater was his friend, son-in-law, and successor in the iconic Hill District establishment. Slater’s story begins more than a century ago in rural Virginia and it continues today with his daughter’s Bloomfield barbering business.

Pittsburgh Mob

A Big Numbers Hit in 1930 Created Pittsburgh Mob Legends

By David Rotenstein / August 5, 2021

Meet some Pittsburgh mob legends and learn how a bet on the number 805 in 1930 changed gambling in the city of Pittsburgh.